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tv   The Kudlow Report  CNBC  March 3, 2014 7:00pm-8:01pm EST

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time? i'm with him, but, of course, we want to get the timing right. so wait as the selling gets heavy and then think about bristol-myers. there's always a bull market somewhere. i promise to find it just stocks fall worldwide as russia takes over the crimea. not a shot has been fired yet, but nobody knows if russian troops are headed into east ukraine. we just don't know. good evening, everyone. i'm larry kudlow. this is "the kudlow report." we are live here at 7:00 p.m. eastern and 4:00 p.m. pacific. we're going to go right to our expert panelists, take a look at the financial, the military and the strategic issues here. we have nick byrnes, former undersecretary of state, retired four star general barry mccaffrey and from the council of foreign relations, ben
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steele. general, if i may go to you first, sir. one of the big headlines, as you may know, russia to ukraine, surrender crimean forces or face a military storm. that storm is scheduled at 5:00 a.m. tomorrow, about 10:00 tonight. what's your take on that, a military storm coming? >> well, the only one thing i'm sure of in this entire crisis is the russians will never end a military stronghold to crimea. >> i don't hear general mccaffrey. let me go to -- >> studio, have you got this? >> i'm sorry. i'm disconnected from general mccaffrey. let me go to nick byrnes and see if he can answer -- we'll go to ben steele who's right here with me on set. do you think this deadline is
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for real and do you think there's going to be a military storm? >> i don't think the deadline is necessarily for real in terms of the exact hour. but there's no doubt that moscow is ratcheting up the pressure, larry. and the west has very little leverage here, financial sanctions, trade sanctions, diplomatic sanctions. these aren't things moscow is afraid of. >> is crimea lost? >> i think it is, two things, first, our leverage is minimal. what does russia care about? gas exports. the europeans don't want us to go near that. germany's very dependent on gas imports from russia. they're also dependent on exports and direct investment in the russian energy infrastructure and business -- >> you think that's sufficient to back off -- i want to get our other experts in. but so far they're not connected or at least not connected with me. i apologize to the viewers on that. we'll get them on. let me stay with this, benn
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steil. german's foreign minister has been making unpersuasive sounds in all the reports today. he doesn't seem to want to go along with the drill about preparation for g-8 or not going to the g-8 meeting in sochi. i haven't heard a thing. you ascribe that to natural gas? that's it? >> it's not just natural gas. it's the business that german industrial outfits like siemens are doing within russia. and the russians know very well when they invaded the breakaway georgian republics like south ossetia in 2008, the west did absolutely nothing. so this is playing according to script. >> do we have general mccaffrey? >> i think so. >> i beg your pardon, for whatever snafu we had. let me ask you the question about this 5:00 a.m. deadline and whether russia is going to tell ukraine troops to stand down or we're going to see military battle. >> well, hopefully there won't
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be actual direct combat between the ukrainian military and the russian russians. i am positive the russians will never end military control of crimea. the black sea fleet is there, this is primarily a russian speaking area since stalin murdered all the tatars. i was in and out of the ukraine when the break-up of the soviet union took place. that's a russian area. that's where the industry is. they're under the direct strategic threat of the russians. so is your guest said and ambassador byrnes is about to talk about it, there's very little we could and i would argue should go. for sure i cannot imagine helping this situation by putting the u.s. navy into the black sea. >> nick byrnes, welcome back.
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let me ask you, the general gave it over to you. how do you handicap the odds at this point, that the russian troops will go into the eastern part of ukraine? look, you guys are the experts, i'm not. but it seems to me, if russian troops go into the ukraine, that is going to prolong and make this whole story uglier with much deeper political and financial implications. >> larry, i think what putin is trying to do here, he's trying to intimidate and coerce this new embattled government in kiev to stay in line, to stay in the russian orbit, not to have an association with the european union. it's very unlikely he's going to give up the crimea because angela merkel or someone else asks him to. the big question, will he limit himself to that or respond to the inevitable appeal from
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leaders from eastern cities in ukraine to rescue those ethnic russians. but there's probably a reason he may not do that in the short term it's a lot to digest. about 65% of the people in eastern ukraine are ethnic russians. that leaves a lot of ethnic ukrainians, particularly in the countryside. if he does that, he's fundamentally dividing this country. it's a bigger step. it will leave him open to more international pressure and sanctions which he probably doesn't want. >> i'm going to find out about this international chorus of opposition and the president's own threats regarding the g-8 meeting. but hang on to all of you, president obama coming out today with some tough language for vladimir putin. steve handelsman joins us with the details. >> reporter: larry, thanks. kind of tough. world markets were concerned today. down at the white house at tonight's special meeting on ukraine, they're concerned of course that vladimir putin could grab more territory, maybe in other nation, that were once
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part of the soviet union. but so far, there's no obama plan to address that. he says that russia is violating ukraine's sovereignty and international law. >> what cannot be done is for russia with impunity to put its soldiers on the ground and violate basic principles that are recognized around the world. >> reporter: but that, in fact, is what putin is doing. as he showed off more troops near st. petersburg today. some in congress, some democrats, would slap sanctions onymous cow's banks that putin depends on. >> it would effectively shut down russia's economy. >> reporter: john mccain says -- >> this is a foreign policy where nobody believes in america's strength anymore. >> reporter: the president says
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he will ask congress to okay humanitarian aid for ukraine. he's sending jsohn kerry to kie. they publicly have no plan to deal with putin. >> editorially, from my point of view, right now, vladimir putin is the enemy, not president obama even though some american politicians are showboating in front of conservative conferences. let me get the latest from the middle of this crisis. bill neely is live for us in the crimea this evening. good evening, bill. >> reporter: good evening to you. >> what can you tell us? what can you tell us -- there's allegedly a deadline for a russian military takeover of crimea. what's happening out there?
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>> reporter: yeah, the deadline is supposed to be in three hours' time, 10:00 eastern. but there was a spokesman for the russian black sea fleet who later denied that any ultimatum had been issued to ukrainian forces. remember, that ultimatum said, either surrender or we storm your bases. the spokesman for the black sea fleet said that that ultimatum was nonsense. but you can never be quite sure. i was at two ukrainian army bases today. at one, it was surrounded by about 150 russian troops. they have the ukrainian contingent pinned down, if you like, inside their barracks. the ukrainians don't have their weapons. they've laid those weapons down. at the other barracks, russian soldiers, much, much more relax. they were lying in the grass, chatting to local girls, a relaxed atmosphere. but that could change very quickly indeed. >> bill, is there any contrary
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evidence -- is there any doubt in your mind as a reporter, just reporting the events, that russia is not going to take over the crimea? is there any doubt about that? >> reporter: absolutely none. to all intents and purposes, effectively taken over the crimea, every government building has been taken over. the border points are under russian control. most of the military, the navy and the army and the air force have been either surrounded or guarded by russian troops. this takeover of crimea is done and dusted. i think there's no doubt about that. i think the big question is, does it stop here? there have been pro-russian demonstrations in cities in eastern ukraine today, pro-russian demonstrators took over the city hall in a place in
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the heart of eastern ukraine. and that's the big question, does it stop at crimea's borders or does it go further? if it does go across to eastern ukraine, my goodness, that's a completely different issue and raises the stakes even more, as if they weren't high enough already. >> many thanks, nbc's bill neely, we appreciate it. of course, whenever some scary global event happens, people sell stocks. that's exactly what happened today. bob pisani has that story from the new york stock exchange. good evening, robert. >> it was ugly. but at one point, the dow down 250 points but he only ended down 153 points. the russian stock market down 12%. but other emerging market countries like poland were weak as well. there was the usual flight to safety trades. dollar was up, treasuries were up. gold and gold stocks were up. gold at a four-month high. wheat and corn were up. the ukraine's a big exporter of grain.
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and traders were playing agricultural commodities. sugar, wheat, cattle and corn did five times normal volume and is up 14% in the last six weeks because of the ukraine and bad weather in the u.s. and brazil. higher grain prices make it easier for farmers to afford fertilizer and seed. but iron ore and copper and steel companies were down on concerns about slower global growth. that's the big issue right now. how long does this go on for? the vix, the volatility index, was up, but not dramatically today indicating for the moment the traders don't think this is going to be a long-term crisis. yet nobody seems to think that putin will back down and relinquish to crimea. the longer this goes on, the bigger potential it has to be a drag on global growth. back to you. >> many thanks, bob pisani. a lot more to talk about with ukraine, vladimir putin, your money, our panel is going
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to be sticking around. a lot of stuff to cover. for now, a simple thought, don't forget, free market capitalism, the beth path to prosperity. the people of ukraine are fighting for this and what vladimir putin is not willing to let them have. "the kudlow report" will be coming right back. ameriprise asked people a simple question: in retirement, will you outlive your money? uhhh. no, that can't happen. that's the thing, you don't know how long it has to last. everyone has retirement questions. so ameriprise created the exclusive.. confident retirement approach. now you and your ameripise advisor can get the real answers you need. well, knowing gives you confidence. start building your confident retirement today.
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welcome back. we're here with former undersecretary of state, nick burns, general barry mccaffrey and benn steil. general, i want to go back to this issue we heard from bill neely reporting from crimea. nobody knows what putin's next move will be away from crimea. we don't know about eastern ukraine. we don't know about american assets, if we have any military assets anywheres near in the region. we don't know if he might use mercenary troops to do his work in eastern ukraine. but this could be the first disruptive warlike atmosphere since the end of the cold war in europe, general mccaffrey. that's something that people aren't really considering up here on wall street. what's your thinking on this?
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>> i sure hope this is a time for cool heads and cool rhetoric. there had been a lot of muscular language out of the senate, people looking at the presidential campaign coming up. this is a vital national security interest of the russians and the crimea. it is not our vital national security interest. as a matter of fact, it's not much of a ukrainian land. not trying to apologize for the russians, but we need to understand the end game shouldn't be to intensify the confrontation but to defuse it. when it comes to eastern ukraine, basically that's a russian-leaning part of that fractured country. the history of that area, all the bordering countries claim each other's land. my guess is putin's a very smart man. he's going to try and control eastern ukraine without invading it overtly. i hope that's the outcome. and i don't think this is appropriate to intensify economic sanctions and ratchet up the pressure.
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this is a lose/lose for us. >> well, nick burns, you have called for economic and banking sanctions. and i want to ask you about that. it's not an easy thing to do. and also, the whole business about the g-8, not going to the preparatory meetings, their deputies, or no g-8 meeting at all in sochi, or excluding, kicking russia out of the g-8. do you expect the united states' policies to emphasize those points and do you expect europe to follow suit, nick? >> two good questions. i think the obama administration is heading towards economic sanctions. one of the largest strategic gains we've had in 70 years since the close of the second world war is a peaceful, democratic, united europe. we've had it for 23 years, since the collapse of the soviet union. so there has to be a price, a cost for what putin's done here in invading illegally against international law the u.n. charter, a sovereign country.
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i think the president's determined to make him pay that price putin's in a stronger position than we are. and so it's going to acquire a real symmetry between the european union and the united states. can we agree that there should be no -- there should be a boycott of the g-8 summit in sochi, that russia should be expelled, but more importantly, can we agree on base economic sanctions? i worry about that, larry. you saw today and your program noted it. some europeans are with president obama but the german government is not. and the german government is the most important of the european governments. so job one is really to get a united alliance around these steps to drive up the economic cost to putin. >> but, general, if i may come back to you, what former undersecretary nick burns is saying is there has to be a price when putin starts this adventurous-type policies. you're saying we should let it go? is that what your point was? >> no. i know secretary burns has given
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this a lot of thought. clearly we need to oppose violation of international law. so there should be a principled political stance by our government that says, this is wrong. and if we have the economic power, european union primarily, i suppose we should intervene strongly to support ukraine's crumbling economy. but this isn't the swiss government that just took over in kiev. this has been a corrupt and competent group of people for the last several years. so we need to be wary. for sure, i am suggesting this is not the time for military threats and a part of the european union or the united states. >> well, i think nobody's -- fair enough. nobody's talking military threats. >> well, i think they are. i've heard language arguing the u.s. navy should be put into the black sea and a build-up in the eastern mediterranean and nato should move forces into adjoining nato countries.
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i can't imagine that that's a helpful way to back up our diplomatic and economic power. >> there are some hotheads, friends of mine, republicans, conservatives, they're blaming obama more than putin right nowful whatever the history is, and the an-- >> i want to agree strongly with the general. we don't have a military option here. we're nuclearly armed countries. we can't afford that kind of confrontation. we have no security obligations to the ukrainian government. but you have to rally the article 5 guarantee for the newer members of the alliance, we should do that to show putin that those countries are sacrosan sacrosanct.
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>> i want to close this segment by saying, in the reagan years, which was the cold war, but reagan's policies used economic sanctions quite a bit. reagan did everything he could to stop pipelines from being built, to stop soviet banking in the united states. right now, russia wants those same privileges and we could cause problems here and reagan had now thatcher and cole -- german chancellor cole and british prime minister thatcher -- i don't know if cameron and merkel are going to be has strong. but they were tough and held the line. it seems to me that president obama could rally today cameron and cole and merkel and do the same thing. there has to be some toughness shown here. >> but we can't overrate our leverage. u.s. trade with russia only amounts to about 1% of total u.s. trade. >> but they want to bank. they want to bank. we could give them trouble with visas, for example.
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we could peck away in a lot of different areas. >> we can. but what do they care about? gas exports. we talked about economic sanctions after russia effectively annexed breakaway republics in moldova and in georgia. and it did absolutely nothing. putin also knows that he doesn't necessarily have to use the military in east ukraine. he's an ex-kgb man. when the united states wanted to reinstall the shop in iran, it didn't rely on the u.s. military. it used the cia which paid locals to stir up the population. so vladimir putin, i think, is being very shrewd. >> what's his end game? tell me, real quick. suppose he does what you say, uses locals. does he want to break up the ukraine, split the country in two? is that his end game? >> i think it is. i think he'll push even further if we show no resistance.
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>> do you agree with that, nick burns? to split ukraine into two? >> i think his strategic objective is to control ukraine, having an association agreement with the eu. if he can do it without dividing the ukraine, he'll do it. but i think it's about control more than anything else. >> larry, could i add one comment? >> yes, sir. >> in the background of all that, we talk about muscular language in the senate over black sea posturing of the u.s. navy. we just announced the smallest armed forces since 1940, we're standing down half the navy's cruisers. we are about to stand down all the a-10 fighter aircraft. the army is about to go to allegedly 420,000 people. so the backdrop of muscular foreign policy, meaning signaling with military capabilities, is sort of a
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nonsense approach to this whole crisis. >> of course i agree with you. to me, novice that i am, this is a political issue, this is a diplomatic issue and a financial issue, which i think is what nick and benn are saying. thank you very much. ambassador, we appreciate it. general and benn, we appreciate it. more on the ukraine situation in just a few moments. right now, a new anti-poverty budget put out by congressman paul ryan. the ryan budget being blasted by leading democrats. we'll get a complete report from robert costa, next up on "the kudlow report." announcer: where can an investor
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as a preemptive rebuttal to president obama's budget which is supposed to be out tomorrow, paul ryan laid down the gauntlet with a 200-plus-page critique of the war on poverty. provides a window in the house gop's own forthcoming budget offering. here now is cnbc contributor robert costa, "washington post" national political reporter. i get it but i don't get it. is this a political move by paul ryan sort of answering the inequality issue with the so-called poverty trap issue? is that what this is? >> reporter: exactly. paul ryan's been working on poverty issues for the past year. he's traveled around the country to different urban centers,
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meeting with people who are struggling with poverty issues. ryan will come out with his own republican budget plan later this month. what this document released today is, it's an outline of federal poverty programs. it's ryan's critique and analysis. >> as i understand it, we've discussed this before on this show, a lot of these entitlement programs, indeed most of these smaller entitlement programs, have perverse incentives. if you succeed and climb the ladder of opportunity and you make more money, you lose your benefit and you lose it fast, plus you might be in a higher tax bracket. i think this is where ryan's going to go. but you tell me. >> reporter: that's exactly right. i spoke with chairman ryan over the weekend. that's the crux of his argument with this budget document. he says that there's over 92 programs administered by the federal government dealing with poverty. a lot of people are enrolling in these programs even as a recovery is ongoing. he's trying to look at ways to curb the spending on these kind of programs and also just try to empower people out of poverty.
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he thinks the party needs to return to your old friend, jack kemp, to get back to the growth message on these issues and not just talk about cutbacks. >> democratic budget guru, chris van hollen, thinks that paul ryan wants to slash safety net programs left and right and doesn't buy into the incentive argument. so we're going to have a big fight on our hands. >> reporter: i think so. because there was a budget deal crafted between the senate and the house in december, we're not going too see a major budget war in terms of finding a budget compromise this spring. what you're going to have is a battle of ideology. i spoke to chris van hollen as well over the weekend. he said he doesn't think a bipartisan compromise like we saw in 1996 on welfare reform is possible because we're so close to the mid-term elections. you are going to see the lines drawn between right and left, democratic and republican, about how to address poverty, how to address welfare reform. >> all right. i hope somebody comes out with an economic growth program in
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the middle of this whole debate because i think the country is still worried about the economy. anyway, robert costa, "washington post," cnbc, thank you ever so much. we appreciate it. let's get back to the main political and financial story of the evening. we're going to get a live update on the latest in the ukraine. and warren buffett says ukraine won't stop him from buying stocks. he also says that climate change, global warming story is vastly overblown. that's buffett. i'm kudlow. we'll be right back. there's this kid. coach calls her a team player. she's kind of special. she makes the whole team better. he's the kind of player that puts the puck, horsehide, bullet. right where it needs to be. coach calls it logistics. he's a great passer. dependable. a winning team has to have one. somebody you can count on. somebody like my dad. this is my dad. somebody like my mom. my grandfather. i'm very pround of him.
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welcome back to "the kudlow report." our big story tonight, russia's military intervention in ukraine. president obama coming out today with some very strong language for vladimir putin. cnbc's john harwood live for us from washington, d.c. good evening, john. what can you tell us? >> reporter: good evening, larry. the administration's been scrambling all day as it did over the weekend to try to respond to that russian intervention, both in terms of imposing costs, as the president put it, on russia but also trying to find some assistance for ukraine. john kerry, the secretary of state who right now is giving a speech to apec and discussing the israeli/palestinian peace process and issues related to iran, is flying to kiev tomorrow to meet with the government. and president obama this afternoon when he said that
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russia was on the wrong side of history said when congress comes back, he wants them immediately to turn once this weather delay on the congressional schedule is over, immediately turn to crafting an aid package for ukraine. >> i've heard a lot of talk from congress about what should be done, what they want to do. one thing they can do right away is to work with the administration to help provide pa package of assistance to the ukrainians, to the people and that government. and when they get back in, assuming the weather clears, i would hope that that would be the first order of business. >> reporter: the flip side, larry, of course is sanctions against russia to try to deter that conduct. there's discussion of energy, technology, export restrictions on the russians. you've also got the question of limiting visas so that you impact the travel of russian officials, russian businesspeople abroad. not clear whether any of that is going to happen. they haven't pulled the trigger.
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you have republicans like john mccain as we heard earlier in your show saying this is the result of a feckless foreign policy and even some foreign policy strategists said this afternoon the hesitancy to immediately apply sanctions may embolden other countries like china in some of its territorial disputes in its part of the world, larry. >> many thanks, john harwood. me, i just think this is a time to back the president and see if we can't get something out of this thing. but anyway, we'll see. joining us to discuss the whole u.s. and global response, former texas senator kay bailey hutchison, former undersecretary of state nick burns and benn steil. benn is also the author of this book. senator hutchison, welcome back. >> thank you. >> i don't need to remind you but i've said it on the show. right this moment, whatever happened before, this is a tricky situation. and it's good if we all recall and know that vladimir putin is
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the bad guy right now. now, let me ask you, do you think this congress, particularly the republican house, might give president obama the kind of financial assistance which could be transferred to the ukraine to help the situation? >> oh, i do, larry. and i agree wholeheartedly with the point that you've been making. i don't think we should be criticizing the president right now as he is in a situation where we need to be america and speaking with one voice hopefully. and i think also it is so important that we bring our allies in here. nato and the eu must be a part of anything that is done because they have so much at stake and they have the proximity to this area. >> nick burns, nato and the eu -- and i'm always worried about germany -- how do you see that? >> i agree with senator hutchison. the policy in a nutshell the
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president is now forming is drive up the cost to putin, isolate putin as much as you can, help the ukraine government, embattled, poor, bankrupt to help get over the presidential elections and think of the long term. putin, round one, we're going to be patient and hopefully in the end the strength of the democratic countries of europe and the united states and canada are going to help keep europe united and peaceful over the long term. but i agree with you, larry, we should get behind the president and support him and politics should stop at the water's edge. >> thank you for that. to me, it's simple. i'm a reagan guy. i'm a conservative. but sometimes you have to get behind the president for hefen's sake. nick, quickly, in your article today in the "ft," you won a chorus of criticism, not just the eu, gnat toe, but you want india, japan, south korea.
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that's a true global criticism of putin that would isolate himself. is there any progress on these other countries, is the administration going to these other countries? >> well, it's interesting, i'm going to ask my class that tomorrow up here at harvard, how have the indians, the japanese, the brazilians come forward? putin has violated the u.n. charter, the helsinki act -- three international laws, he's crossed the line. we americans have been on the receiving end of a lot of lecturing from some of these countries that i've mentioned. it would be nice for them to be consistent now and uphold international law. can we hear from india? can we hear from brazil? but chinese at the security council meeting today weren't as unstenting in their support of the russians as i would have suspected. >> benn steil, markets are killing putin. markets are going right after him.
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russian stock market was off 11% today. it's off 14.5% since february 17th when a lot of this started. the russian ruble year to date, down 10%. got crushed today. year over year, the russian ruble is down 20%. they got a 6%, 7% inflation rate and rising. their economy is in shambles. does it have any effect on putin at all? >> it does. but he's playing the long game. he believes markets will go up. as soon as the markets realize that the west is a paper tiger. they're going to except crimea as a done deal. that's what he's waiting for. >> senator, that's an interesting point that benn steil makes. so far, the president, obama, has not conceded the crimea. it looks like it's a done deal that russia is going to take it over. but at the level of rhetoric, he's not conceded that. what should he do with the crimea? if you give up on one, you're
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giving up -- it's falling dominos and they're going to give up on all the ex-soviet satellites. >> no, of course, we have nato now countries in some of the former soviet satellites. but also the crimea is very important to russia because of the water and the bases that they have there. it's a defense area for them, and they took this stand. i think putin is going to test us to see how strong an alliance we have, particularly it's important for germany to be a part of this because that's going to make a big difference. and if we don't do anything, if we don't have a united front and if there isn't something very strong as an alliance, then i think he will move on through the rest of the ukraine which is even more dangerous. >> i understand the black sea, russian troops, navy -- but
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supposedly crimea has an independent legislature and independent prime minister. that system is there. the russians have totally disrupted it. they got their own guy in and a phony legislature and kiev can't do anything about it. but i don't see why the united states and nato, to use your point, nato may be stronger than the eu, has to give up on the crimea. i think that's invading sovereignty. we should make a stand on that, kay. >> no doubt about that. no doubt about that. but we have to move as an alliance. that is my point. or we will be a paper tiger because they must sign on. we've seen that in the iran sanctions, larry, where the europeans were going to keep iran from getting that nuclear weapon. they were in charge. but they had so many necessary trade areas and also the oil in iran and they really didn't do the job. now we've got this situation, and it's another necessary area
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that the europeans must take a stand or we don't have the leverage that they do. >> senator kay bailey hutchison, benn steil, ambassador nick burns, we appreciate it. you're all great. we're going to focus a little more on the markets and whether this rally can resume once the ukraine situation quiets down. there was some encouraging economic news, you probably missed it in all the excitement about the ukraine. we'll show you what warren buffett had to say about this market and the ukraine crisis. but first up, we have to let you hear what mr. buffett had to say about all those climate change disaster peddlers out there. here's a hint, he ain't worried. check it out. we'll be right back. >> i think the public has the impression that because there's been so much talk about climate that events of the last ten years from an insured standpoint in climate have been unusual. the answer is they haven't.
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you read about these events but you were reading about events 30, 40, 50 years ago. we've been remarkably free of hurricanes in the united states in the last five years. [ children yelling ] [ telephone rings ] [ shirley ] edward jones. this is shirley speaking. how may i help you? oh hey, neill, how are you? how was the trip? [ male announcer ] with nearly 7 million investors... [ shirley ] he's right here. hold on one sec. [ male announcer ]'d expect us to have a highly skilled call center. kevin, neill holley's on line one. ok, great. [ male announcer ] and we do. it's how edward jones makes sense of investing. ♪ you can't always see them.
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you're going to invest your money in something over time. the one thing you could be quite sure of is we went into some very major war, the value of money would go down. that's happened in virtually every war that i'm aware of. so the last thing you'd want to do is hold money during a war. you might want to own a farm, an apartment house or securities. but during world war ii, the stock market advanced. >> the unrest in ukraine continues to be the big story of the day. take a look how the markets ended on wall street due to the overseas uncertainty. dow drops 154 bucks. the nasdaq lost 31 points. the s&p 500 down 14. my quick advice to investors, heck, like warren buffett, still an optimist. fundamentally i say buy the ukraine dip. but, folks, politically, nobody knows what putin's going to do
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and when he might do it. so you might want to cool your heels for a little while until the story clarifies. let's bring in our ace team. michael farr, jim iuorio and zachary karabell. gentlemen, let me go to mr. iuorio because i kind of liked what warren buffett had to say. buy farmland, by stock, by hard assets, don't buy money, i don't really think this is going to be world war ii and you don't think you do either. but in general terms, is buffett right? >> i agree, too. when he said it also he did definitely say that in times of war, which you and i both agree we're not there -- but i have been doing that over the last year and a half. diversifying into things like that. i believe that's a smart way to go. >> michael farr, do you believe it's a smart way to go? what i'm suggesting, i hope it's in line with mr. buffett.
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but i'm saying fundamentally this economy -- you saw it today. we had a good ism in manufacturing, maybe nobody paid attention to it because of the ukraine. we also had a pretty good personal spending and income number. nobody paid attention to that. the economy is growing at 2.5%. labor profits are so low, i don't think this long cyclical rally is over. >> i don't think it's over. we're certainly do for something of a correction and we're getting one. but two things, there's always somebody out there protecting the end of the world particularly on wall street. and he's historically been wrong. if he's right, it isn't going to matter. it's always been good to ignore that guy. second, i read a report that showed that markets dipped prior to these military engagements pretty consistently. think about to desert storm, think back to several other examples. markets will dip in anticipation
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and once things actually get started, markets rally. i like your advice, that we should be patient here. but typically the time to buy if you're looking to buy on the dip is advanced. >> maybe that's going to be tonight. maybe not. zach karabell, mr. buffett also took a whack at bitcoin. i just wrote a column saying it's not real money. let me get your take on the stock market. if you think for example that rush a's going to enforce this deadline and essentially take the crimea tonight, is it a buying opportunity? >> look, the domino theory didn't particularly work during the cold war. i don't believe it will now. although the advantage of the forecast, as william just said, until it doesn't happen, you can't prove that it won't. if you want to be scared and you want to believe there's a whole series of trip wires here, the reality is, unless the worst happens, crimea's not going to affect amazon's earnings or determine how many cell phones apple makes in china or how many
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are sold in china. >> that's why i say fundamentally. fundamentally. >> right. >> i want people to look at profits and think about buying the market back. >> the only reason why the markets are selling off is in some sort of very broad geopolitical concerns. unless you think that's going to shift u.s., chinese or brazilian consumer behavior, and i don't see that speaking today -- we can come back in a week, things change. there's no reason to see that in the current crisis. and there will always be a current crisis. this is the one today. >> always something going on. hang on. we're going to come back. i have much more for you. i want to know what you're going to do when the market opens. i also want to get a little bit of comments about climate change. warren buffett's commenting himself, downplaying climate change disaster. he said it on cnbc's "squawk box" this morning. we're going to play it for you again when we come back.
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warren buffett wasn't only talking about ukraine on cnbc this morning. we also downplayed all these disaster scenarios connected to climate change. listen to this from "squawk box." >> i think the public has the impression that because there's been so much talk about climate that events of the last ten years from an insured standpoint in climate have been unusual. the answer is they haven't. you read about these events.
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but you were reading about them 30, 40, 50 years ago. and we've been remarkably free of hurricanes in the united states in the last five years. >> let's welcome back michael farr, jim iuorio, zach karabell. mike, having trouble with what mr. buffett said about climate change? >> one of the great things about warren buffett is he has great perspective. he's been doing this since god was in short pants and he's done it pretty well. i think to suggest that climate change and global warming aren't really serious is not what he's saying. i think he's saying we have to have perspective, which makes complete sense to me, and that we have perhaps a very dangerous, very long-term trend that shouldn't affect our investing over the next 50-year cycle. >> yeah, he's saying it's not a calamity, it's not a disaster. >> it's not happening tomorrow. we need to focus on earnings and margins. >> i like that. that was your best thing ever, michael farr. >> was it?
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i quoted you, really. >> michael farr just stumbled into this. he talked about earnings and profits and he says labor costs -- said something really intelligent. jim iuorio, what will you do tomorrow morning? >> i think today's negativity in the market came at an inopportune time. the fact that we couldn't follow through today leads me to believe that -- by the way, we've had an 9% rally in the matter of a few weeks. and normal times we would say, nothing bad was taken 3%, 4% off the top to give us another buy opportunity. if it's weak tomorrow, i think it's going to trade down about 3%, 4%. i would by in the low 1,800s there. >> zach, you get the last word. >> we are in a static two months here after a really strong 2013. and so there is noise and there are stories that are going to move marks up and down, 2% in a week. but until otherwise notified, as far as i'm concerned right now, we are just in a very stagnant
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pattern. >> i think we're just consolidating last year's enormous gains and i think in the long run that's bullish as hell. >> i don't think you should wait for a push pullback. i think this is just a slow, gradual investing climate. >> michael farr, jim iuorio, zachary karabell, check out zach's new book. that's it for tonight, folks. thanks for watching. i'm kudlow. we'll be here tomorrow evening. [ male announcer ] how can power consumption in china, impact wool exports from new zealand, textile production in spain, and the use of medical technology in the u.s.? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy. it's just one reason over 75% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence.
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